For many homeowners, making the decision to sell their home is not an easy one and it doesn’t get easier once the decision to move is made. Where to begin? What are the next steps? How do I prepare? Are just a few of the questions you may be asking yourself. How you move forward can dictate how long your home is on the market, and influence the value of the offers you receive. To help with the process, we collected a list of tips for getting your home ready to sell.

1. Find a Realtor

Teaming up with an experienced real estate agent to list your home will be a big asset throughout the entire selling process. Friends and family are a great resource when it comes to finding a trustworthy realtor, but don’t just take their experience into consideration. Find out about the agent’s experience in buying and selling in your community and their plan for selling your home. Once you partner with an agent, they will assist in setting the asking price for your home. Your agent will look into comparable sales in your area, and evaluate your features and location compared to other sold to come up with the listing price.

2. Organize Your Home

Filling your home with personal items and knick knacks occurs naturally over the years, reducing the clutter and organizing your home will help potential buyers focus on the space and even envision their personal items laid out. If you forgo decluttering and even depersonalizing your home, potential buyers may be caught up in all of your family photos and personal items laying around to really focus on their potential future in the home.

3. Clean, Clean, Clean

Portraying pride of ownership in how your home looks, feels, and even smells can influence higher purchase offers. This is why it is important that before your home is put on the market, and before every viewing your home is given a thorough deep clean. This is not your standard weekly clean, think about the areas in your home that get minimal traffic or use, like behind your toilets and under the coffee table. Baseboards and ceiling corners need to be dusted, wipe down all surfaces, and mop and vacuum your floors. If you have carpets, have them steam cleaned to get out any stains. You may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company to give your home a professional once over prior to listing your home.

4. Use a Professional Photographer

It may be may save you a few bucks and even be more convenient to take listing photos yourself after all your smartphone has a pretty good camera. Resist this urge to take the photos yourself and hire a professional photographer. They will be able to take the perfect shots to best showcase your homes light and layout. Most home buyers start their search online, you don’t want to miss out on potential buyers because your photos didn’t showcase the best of your home. Your real estate agent will have a list of trusted photographers that they have used previously, look to your agent for guidance if you don’t have a photographer in your contact list.

5. Complete Touch Ups

It is time to finally pay attention to any lingering issues in your home, this includes squeaky hinges, leaking faucets, and toilets, loose door handles, burnt out light bulbs, and a fresh coat of paint. You want your home to be presented at its best for any potential buyers, again that pride of ownership should shine through. You don’t want a small issue like a squeaky door to lead the buyer to believe that care wasn’t put into the house. A fresh coat of white or light gray paint will make your home feel brighter and more welcoming as well as cover any scuff marks or fading. Don’t forget about your baseboards, a fresh coat of glossy white paint will cover all the wear and tear on your mouldings.

Once you have prepared your home to go on the market, ask a friend or your real estate agent to take a walk through and point out any areas that may need additional attention. Presenting the best your home will help you sell your home for top dollar in a shorter amount of time.